Category Archives: Fae

Fairytale Book Trailers and More…

Thursdays Bite

a different view of paranormal romance

Before I bring you more amazing book trailers, I want to remind anyone whose missed it that my Goodreads ten print book Giveaway of my fantasy, fairy tale romance with elves, witches, and evil queens, The Dark Huntsman, will be ending on October 22nd. So make sure you enter, if you haven’t already.

Time for some new trailers!

I had to add this one since not only is it a fairy tale romance, but in The Dark Huntsman, Trina is a Gypsy Witch, and this book has both Gypsies and Fairy Tale in the title.

And from the same author, another paranormal trailer. I love the simplicity of this one but then I had to ask, does it give you enough information about the story. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Now this one doesn’t even have any words. Tell me what you think. Can you tell if it’s NA, YA or adult romance just from the pictures?

That’s all folks.  I’ll be on Joan Leacott‘s site with a cool interview on Monday, so check it out!

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Teaser Thursday and Goodreads #Giveaway for The Dark Huntsman

Thursdays Bite

a last bite of spicy, fantasy romance

I’m giving away ten PRINT copies of The Dark Huntsman, my spicy, fairytale romance, to Goodreads Readers. Enter below to win! This is my very first Goodreads giveaway, so I hope to see some new readers and some great reviews of the book. Already I have people lining up to request books, so sign up. I do know real people who have won real books. This time, one might be you!

Today I’m revealing the last tender morsel of chapter one. You can find bite one HERE, bite two HERE, and bite three HERE. And after that, if you want more of The Dark Huntsman Subscribe to my new release only mailing list and you’ll be the first to know when it hits the shelves. The virtual shelves of Amazon and Kindle Select, that is. Unless you are here in Colorado where I’ll be ordering copies into my local book small book store, The Book Cellar, in Louisville. So thanks for coming by today to read my last snippet and click the link below to hop over to Goodreads and enter to win The Dark Huntsman.

Enter to Win

one of Ten Print Copies of my fantasy romance: The Dark Huntsman

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Dark Huntsman by Jessica Aspen

The Dark Huntsman

by Jessica Aspen

Giveaway ends October 22, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The Dark Huntsman, excerpt number four.

the dark huntsman by jessica aspenThunder boomed.

Trina looked up the valley. The dying light made it impossible for her to see much more than the silhouette of a horse and rider barrel through the boulders and uneven terrain, tearing down the rocky hillside at an impossible speed. But no barrel racer would endanger their mount careening down the mountain in a thunder storm. Or ride a horse the color of the absence of light, with freakish red eyes. Only something truly inhuman would light up her inner sight with that particular eerie blue glow.

The acid in her stomach rose into her throat.

An elven lord.

Oh Fuck! I’m screwed.

She swallowed the acid down. Her trap, her best effort, all her hard work. Dumb. Stupid. Pathetic. None of it would hold an elven lord, a full adult fae whose power would make her trap look like an art project. She wished she could hide the evidence, like a small child wiping up the crumbs of stolen cookies.

Horse and rider skidded and slowed in a shower of ricocheting rocks. The enormous hounds flowed out surrounding the labyrinth. The cloaked rider and his dark mount advanced.

She held still, athame at the ready in her sweaty hands, prepared to bolt if she had the chance. Her eyes flicked from the approaching rider, distracted by the lesser threat of the huge, sharp-toothed, and yellow-eyed hounds encircling the labyrinth. Silent sharks waiting for the command to take their prey.

Her.

“Damn shame to kill you, witch.” His voice was smooth, well-aged whiskey with a hint of brogue.

“Then don’t.”

“What will you give me instead? A life requires a powerful exchange. I was sent for your death.”

Trina tried to keep her face even and not reveal her panic, or sudden fear and loss of confidence. She had nothing he could want. Anything of true power, that a fae like this one might consider valuable, was safely out of reach and driving down the road in the van. Gone. Along with any reinforcements.

“How about honesty?” She offered in desperation.

“Funny girl.”

The nervous sweat on her back grew cold.

“Although I would enjoy taking the time,” he said, his low voice carrying easily over the wind and thunder, “we shouldn’t stand here bargaining. The queen awaits my report.”

The dark presence leaned forward, his impatient mount’s feet shifting on the gravel. The lord’s level tone distracted her, and she was unprepared when the horse moved. The pair crashed effortlessly into the labyrinth, cutting a destroying swath across the short, brushy, sage and heading for her at the center. The wards failed. Spectacular violent explosions burst into cascades of colored lights, as if they were merely firecrackers, instead of huge magical grenades.

The overwhelming smell of crushed sage rose, and she swore the evil-eyed horse laughed. She reached inside for what was left of her power, losing her grip on it when he leaned over and grabbed her arm. With no apparent effort, he hoisted her up.

She scrabbled for a handhold in an effort to not fly over the horse into the waiting sea of teeth and dogs. She tangled one hand in the long black mane and held tight to her slippery knife with the other.

Strong arms wrapped in leather tightened around her, forced her upright, her toes dangling sidesaddle. Everything happening too fast. She barely had a grip in the long black mane when the creature flexed under her and they flew over the candles.

The flames blew out.

They landed on the other side of the labyrinth in a hard jolt. She slipped.

If I fall, I could run.

Before the thought had been and gone, her grip on the mane loosened. She slid to the side. Hot breath and the scrape of teeth on her ankle warned her, just in time. She yanked her foot out of range of the snapping jaws, and lost her precarious balance. Making an instinctive grab for the mane with her right hand, she dropped the knife.

Her kidnapper growled and tightened his grip on her stomach and she gasped for her voice.

“Put me down!”

“I’m afraid it’s too late for that. I either kill you or take you with me.” The sparkling black blade of his laughter cut deep into her soul.

Accelerating faster and faster, they wove in and out of the treacherous rocks in a mad, blurring rush up the side of the valley. If she fell off now and hit a rock, she’d be road-kill. She anchored both hands firmly in the mane and leaned back into the solid chest of her attacker.

They raced on, licks of green fire lighting up the hill behind them. A deep maw of black within purple mist formed ahead, transforming the familiar landscape into a horror. The knowledge of where they headed slammed inside her brain.

Trina’s heart sped into a sharp staccato.

Words of denial formed in her constricted throat, gone long before she had a chance to know what they were.

Don’t make me go.

They rocketed to the top of the valley, the piranha hounds schooling tightly around them as they raced to the looming mouth of the portal. Steely muscles bunched and flexed under her. Launching into the air, they flew into the mix of fog and darkness encased in the sound of her scream.

That’s it, that’s the end of chapter one. Leave a comment and let me know how you liked it then put The Dark Huntsman on your Goodreads TBR shelf HERESubscribe to my new release only mailing list to find out when The Dark Huntsman is released, and then get ready for the book. It should be out in October, and of course I’ll be announcing it here and on Twitter and Facebook. How could I resist trumpeting it to the skies?

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Excerpt of Brand New Fantasy Romance: The Dark Huntsman

Thursdays Bite

a sample bite blog

The Dark Huntsman is coming and to celebrate the new cover of my latest spicy, paranormal, fantasy romance I’m on tour all week. Drop by the following stops and enter to win one of ten e-copies by entering my Rafflecopter Giveaway.

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen cover badgeFriday 13thLynn Cahoon

Monday 16thJoan Leacott

Tuesday 17th, ML Guida

Wednesday 18thGloria Richard

September 20thSelena Laurence

Or hop by last Thursday’s post and leave a comment to enter, or subscribe to my New Release email list HERE and receive another entry.

For teaser one Click HERE  and to read teaser two, click  HERE . Now on to teaser three.

***

The Dark Huntsman 

Riding into the dry-as-bones mountains on the back of the puca, Logan’s anger seared bitter in his chest. It rolled off him in waves, pulling thunder down from the sky. He toyed idly with the storm letting his anger draw the danger of the lightening to him as he seethed. Fifteen years away from his hounds. Fifteen years of Solanum’s running wild, the puca causing havoc wherever he went. Fifteen years of Logan’s life eaten away in the hole of the queen’s dungeons.

And now he was to kill witches for the queen. A fact that rubbed him raw.

Humans were amusing companions, why create trouble? Irritated with the brief flare of morality, he smothered it with brutal force. It didn’t fucking matter what he wanted. It never had.

Lightening cracked. The eerie silent hounds of the Dark Hunt tightened around him, their tense glances and snapping teeth reflections of his flaring emotions.

He had no room for second thoughts tonight. The Black Queen had given him no reason why she needed these witches killed, but if he satisfied her it might give him his freedom. At the very least it would give him some space. Maybe some time to figure out a way to stay out of the dungeons. And time to figure out how to truly extricate himself from her bloody dominion.

Because no matter what she had promised him, he knew, there was no way she would simply let him go. Not after the way he had betrayed her.

Solanum tossed his head and bucked. “Quit squeezing my ribs.” Lurid green faery flames leapt from his hooves, igniting short-lived cold fires in the dry Wyoming brush.

“Cease, horse,” Logan said, squeezing his legs a little more. Punching Solanum’s buttons felt good, really good. Just like his wrath at the queen felt good. Justified.

The puca tossed his long mane into Logan’s eyes. “Lay off, or you’ll be eating dirt,” the puca snarled, his nostrils flaring in the dimming light.

Solanum’s irritation put a hard smile on Logan’s lips. He tightened his legs and drove the puca harder down the hill through the brewing storm.

A hound pushed in close. Solanum’s hoof lashed out, connecting with a solid thud. The hound’s yipe sounded inside Logan’s head as he regained his balance, cursing the hound’s behavior and the puca’s intolerance.

He was back. The hounds would get used to him again. And Solanum too.

Thunder crashed in the sky, following him down into the shadowed hills as he approached the witches’ lair. Nostrils burning from the ozone, nerves tingling, he distracted himself with the dark moist wind, manipulating it to blow through the dry autumn brush like a child’s tantrum.

He laughed, the spiteful wind stealing away the dark sound as cracks of thunder echoed off the mountains. He let the anger simmer and the lightening moved further away. He wasn’t free yet, and he wasn’t suicidal. What he was, was trapped. And it pissed him off, the frustration riding him like a hag.

What could he do when the queen changed her mind and refused to release him from her service? What if the bitch thought she could use him then put him back into her dungeons Underhill, calling him to her side like a lapdog? He needed a way to show her there would be repercussions. He needed leverage.

In the distance, thunder rumbled and they tipped over the edge of the valley in search of the witch. A wavering glow of candles shone above the last few rocks.

Almost there.

The telltale traces of a spell raised the hair on the back of his neck. He extended his Gift to perceive what he couldn’t yet see. A labyrinth set by a single inexperienced witch. His lips twitched. As protection it might have worked, had the Faery Queen sent her regular henchman. Unluckily for the witch, the queen had unleashed him. The Dark Huntsman.

He would kill the wench, and be done with this thing between himself and the queen of the Tuatha De Dannan. And when the queen refused to release him? He’d deal with that when the time came.

The wind carried the hot dry smell of sage mixed with the smell of fear and musky female. He inhaled the raw flavor of the witch, the taste of her fear and anger and power slid down his throat, easing his rage.

The anxious hounds shifted around him, sensing the proximity of their prey. Solanum rounded the rock.

And there she was.

The sight of her rocked him back like a blow, almost knocking him to the ground. And he realized that despite the stasis, fifteen years had been too long a time to be without a woman.

Glimmers of power limned her naked body and the silver blade of the athame that gleamed between her breasts. Her legs were spread slightly apart, tensed for battle. Long black hair crackled and lifted with static. Her expressive face was poised on the edge of dilemma, her body caught between the need to hold the spell and the need for action.

He paused to let the feel of power and woman roll through him.

Beautiful.

Unexpected.

Green, almond shaped eyes widened. Her stance firmed, her shoulders pulled back, and her full breasts rose, nipples tightened with cold or fear. Something wild and raw he hadn’t felt in a hundred years stabbed low in his gut.

His agenda changed.

The queen wanted to kill the witch. Why? His plan of placating the queen suddenly seemed weak. She’d never let him go without leverage, and here was leverage standing naked and lovely before him. He had a new plan.

Screw the queen.

Ready for more? Tune in next Thursday, and meanwhile add The Dark Huntsman to your Goodreads TBR shelf HERE.

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…

The Dark Huntsman:  A fantasy romance of the Black Court 

Release date: October 2013 

ISBN e-copy: 978-0-9899558-0-5 

 

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The Dark Huntsman Cover Reveal and e-book Giveaway

Thursdays Bite

It’s here! The Dark Huntsman Cover Reveal

I’m happy dancing with my new cover for my spicy, fantasy romance, The Dark Huntsman, book one in my twisted fairy tale series, Tales of the Black Court and to celebrate I am giving away ten e-copies of the book. You can enter below by clicking on the Rafflecopter link, or  by leaving a comment on this post, or  Subscribe to my new release only mailing list. And here it is, the cover we’ve been waiting for!

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen

Isn’t it sexy! I want to thank Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs for working so hard on this cover. And let me tell you, this was not easy! We went through several design choices. Kari was super patient and had a sunny attitude with each one (although I’m sure her husband got an earful!).

And here is what my very first print book will look like from Abracadabra Publishing:

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen

And, since I know you can’t read the print on the screen, here is the blurb:

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…

Click HERE to read an excerpt from chapter one.

Want more chances to win The Dark Huntsman in e-book? Hop by these spots on my cover tour and the Rafflecopter link will be there too. You can tweet, FB and ENTER daily between now and September 24th. And don’t forget, you can enter simply by leaving a comment today on this post or subscribing to my New RELEASE email list HERE.

Friday 13th, Lynn Cahoon

Monday 16th, Joan Leacott

Tuesday 17th, ML Guida

Wednesday 18th, Gloria Richard

September 20th, Selena Laurence

The Dark Huntsman:  A fantasy romance of the Black Court 

Author Name: Jessica Aspen 

Name of series and book number in series: Book one, Tales of the Black Court 

Genres: Spicy, Fantasy Romance, Twisted Fairy Tales 

Publisher: Abacadabra Publishing 

Release date: October 2013 

ISBN e-copy: 978-0-9899558-0-5 

Word Count: 88,000 words 

Formats available: kindle, epub, pdf, paperback 

Cover Artist: Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs  www.covertocoverdesigns.com

Enter HERE for the Rafflecopter  contest and TEN e-copies of The Dark Huntsman.

And it’s Teaser Thursday! So here is another bite of The Dark Huntsman. You can find last week’s teaser HERE.

Trina raced out the door, forgetting again about the broken bottom porch step. The rotting wood gave under her foot. She hit hard on her hands and knees. The heavy duffle bag swung down and slammed into her arm, tipping open, the sacred ritual tools scattering into the dirt.

Her throat swelled tight. She swallowed back forbidden tears, sat up, and brushed off the tiny rocks embedded in her flesh.

“Damn it!”

She didn’t have time for this.

Scrambling around in the dirt and weeds, she grabbed the precious tools, tossing them like discarded toys into the duffle. Why hadn’t the Goddess Gifted her with time manipulation? Then she wouldn’t have to worry about all this crap.

Ignoring the gorgeous dusty golds and ambers of fall in rural Wyoming, she hauled the loaded duffle up the rapidly darkening hill. Something was coming to the peaceful valley. Cassie had dreamed it, and even if her dreams were subject to interpretation the meaning had been clear. Tonight at sunset, the queen’s dog would descend.

Whatever the hell “queen’s dog” meant.

Sometimes it took more talent than a whole family of witches to figure out the symbolism of Cassie’s visions. Whatever creature the Faerie Queen sent tonight didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was that the last of her family was safe, speeding away in the ancient avocado van.

Doubt quivered low in her belly. The trap spell required more knowledge and power than she possessed, but she had to try. She didn’t know if they’d have another opportunity to grab one of the queen’s scouts before the reinforcements arrived. It was all up to her. They needed information and they needed it soon, before they ran out of places to run.

She reached the point where the rocks began near the old cottonwood at the entrance to the sage labyrinth. An exact eighteen feet across, the sacred three-times-three-times-three, and barely hitting two and-a-half feet tall, it had taken much of her green talent to get it to grow into the classic winding spiral walk used for meditation and spells. No longer the place where she and her cousins had come for spiritual practice, now the stubby double spiral of green and its small center circle would have to change gears from sacred meditation spot to the place she made her stand.

Trina swallowed her fear and reluctance down deep in her gut, dumped her duffle, and stripped off her clothes. A hard gust of the ever-present Wyoming wind shook her.  The newly bared skin of her belly shivered and dread trailed chilly fingers down her spine.

She caught herself checking over her shoulder, finding nothing but the empty landscape. If there were any other way to do this besides bare-assed-naked, she would. But cotton was a downer, it dampened magical fields almost as much as wool. And tonight she had to be unfettered, able to draw as much power as she possibly could. She would need it all.

As soon as the goblin, halfling, or whatever, was in her trap, her clothes could go back on. Then she’d tackle the interrogation and be gone before the big guns arrived. Trolls, ogres, a horde of goblins, no, she’d be long gone before any of those arrived to do the actual killing.

She hoped.

Trying not to rush her steps, the wind lashing dirt against her bare skin, she walked the perimeter of the small labyrinth heading sunwise.

North, East, South, West. She set candles into lanterns at the four corners and lit each one with a prayer to Danu. With each step, apprehension uncoiled in her stomach, radiating out and shaking her hands until it was near impossible for her to light the last candle.

She shoved her anxiety back into her aching stomach and pulled her white handled athame out of the duffle. Breathing deep, she moved the ritual knife, sharp double-blade point up, between her breasts. Energy skidded across her skin. Small hairs on her body rose and her nipples puckered tight.

Time to begin.

Earth magic throbbing under her feet, Trina took the first step into the labyrinth to walk the outer circle and set the wards. Her Gift opened wide. The darkening valley glowed magical colors as the earth’s swirling energies, the soft green of growth and the rich brown of decay, flowed up her legs and into her solar plexus.

She used her body, her anger, and her fear. Anger at the Faery Queen for the constant harassment and extermination of her family and her tribe. Fear of what came next, what might be riding on the coattails of the sunset.

Pulsing with power, she paced deeper and deeper into the labyrinth, static lifting her long black hair into a crackling wild nimbus. She pulled and twisted the vibrant orange and red of her anxiety into the alchemy of the earth’s brown and green energy, weaving them together into an invisible net.

Each measured step layered power into the fabric of her spell. Each movement of the athame directed the energy where it needed to go. Just as darkness dipped its toes into the valley, she turned the last curve into the double spiral’s center.

Her rage and fear coalesced into the final strands of the spell leaving her shaking and exhausted as the last of the afterglow faded from the sky, a stunning show of deep purple on grey. A sonorous quiet descended. No birds, no coyotes. Just the wind sending small trails of skittering leaves through the labyrinth. Prickles of anticipation trembled on her bare spine.

It would be here soon. It was coming fast. And it was coming for her.

Ready for more? Tune in next Thursday, and meanwhile add The Dark Huntsman to your Goodreads shelf HERE.

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Teaser: The Dark Huntsman

Thursdays Bite

a sample bite blog

It’s almost time! I have my cover for my brand new spicy, fantasy romance: The Dark Huntsman, and will be setting up my cover reveal blog tour ASAP. But I know you can’t wait! So I’ve decided to do Teaser Thursdays for the month of September. Here’s the opening to chapter one:

The Dark Huntsman

by Jessica Aspen

release date: October 2013

Sudden light burned into Logan’s face and his eyes flinched shut. He forced his shaking arm up and hid behind it as he tried to remember where he was. Cold seeped into his aching body from the uneven stone floor as he stayed under his arm and hid from the torchlight, staggered at the realization that he was alive. Weak, wobbly, and defenseless. But alive.

A heavy hobnailed boot kicked him in the side. “Here ‘e is sir.”

He groaned and curled into a ball, peering up through long matted and tangled hair at a heavyset chuckling troll with only one working eye. “I got ‘im out of the hole yesterday, but ‘e’s still not in good shape.” Another rusty laugh came from the troll. “But I guess that’s to be expected after fifteen year’n the hole.”

Fifteen years. Had it been so long?

Logan barely heard the troll’s dissertation on oubliettes, prisoners, and rates of death. Had he been in hibernieth, the Elvetian form of stasis, for fifteen years? What had happened to his friends and family? What had happened to the prince between now and the day their world had collapsed? The day he’d been stuffed into his tiny damp prison?

He pushed up on burning arms, collapsing in a panting heap. The troll laughed and kicked him again. Logan lay on the hard stone mentally apologizing to his clan and liege for his weaknesses. He had no strength to face whatever death was to come. His fate was sealed.

“Is this the best you could do?” A sharp male voice cut into Logan’s ears, too used to the sound of silence. “He doesn’t even look like a lord, let an alone the murderous Huntsman. The queen thinks he’s a fricking miracle worker.”

“Nope. No way.” Another chuckle wheezed out. “If you send me down a healer, might be we could get ‘im fixed up by afternoon, good as new. Then the queen can do with ‘im as she likes.”

“Hmph” came from beyond the glare of the torches. Then a sigh. “All right. I’ll send someone. Fix him up.” The voice curled in disgust. “And be sure to wash him. He reeks.”

“Yes sir.” The troll dragged Logan across the floor by one arm. He hummed a tuneless something that screeched into Logan’s ears but couldn’t cover the sound of Logan’s shoulder joint popping out of place.

Pain ripped through him. He struggled to stay conscious and ignore the excruciating messages shrieking in his arm from being hauled like a sack of grain along the rough floor. The troll dropped him on the stones, paused and opened an iron bound door. Logan tried to make his stiff muscles work, managing only to scrape and bang his limbs on the doorframe as the troll seized him and shoved him into the cell. He landed hard, his face grinding into the slimy stones. Curling instinctively into a ball, he managed to protect his gut from the last hard kick of the troll’s boot landing on his dislocated shoulder. His lungs seized up, his vision went black, and his head exploded into bright white stars.

The cell door clanged shut.

He sucked in slow aching breaths as the heavy footsteps receded down the corridor and reminded himself that he’d be out soon. And then he’d face the queen.

Fifteen years in this hell hole and the bitch thought he’d bow to her wishes.

He worked at unclenching his muscles. First his fists, then his jaw. Then each sore and aching muscle until he could sit up, his left arm hanging at an awkward angle. He guessed he wasn’t as ready to die as he’d thought. His body might be in terrible shape, but his mind was still sharp. He’d do what he had to do. Kill, cheat, steal. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t crossed lines before. But this time…

This time he would take down the Faerie Queen of the Black Court. No matter the price he paid. He reached up with his right arm, got a good grip on his left triceps and pulled. The shoulder ground and popped back into place, and Logan passed out from the pain.

Curious? Want more? The Dark Huntsman will be out October 2013. Please sign up for my new release email blast to find out first and to receive details of future sales and review opportunities. Subscribe to my new release only mailing list 

The Dark Huntsman, Book one: Tales of the Black Court

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch tangled in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Ready for more? Click HERE for teaser #2 and HERE for teaser #3.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in my month long drawing to win an e-review copy, so let me know how much you’re looking forward to more twisted fairy tales and The Tales of the Black Court and enter to win! (As with all of my contests you must be over eighteen to enter.)

Check back here for more details on The Dark Huntsman. And wait! There’s more! We have winners from last weeks Labor Day Goldi and the Bear Review Giveaway. Congratulations Sherry Issac, Elaine Cougler, and Sharon Clare! Everyone’s a winner today and I’ll be sending you all e-copies of Goldi and the Bear. 

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Filed under Fae, fairy tales, The Dark Huntsman, Thursdays Bite, witches

Finding time Part II with author Lynn Cahoon

Thursdays Bite

Guest blogger extraordinaire!

Welcome back to author Lynn Cahoon. Lynn’s post on finding time was extrememely popular and I’m thrilled to have her back here with not only more on the same topic but a second fae paranormal book to  follow up her fantastic first paranormal, A Member of the Council. Lynn is one of the amazing members of my GaimX5 Goal setting group, and I’ve loved watching her this year as she comes out with book after book. Congrats Lynn on your huge success this year and on managing your time!

Last visit (https://jessicaaspen.com/2013/05/09/finding-time-with-author-lynn-cahoon/) I talked about cementing your dream – What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

This visit, I thought we’d get down to some detail work or how to plan what you’re going to do.

First, let’s set a goal – After signing my first two contracts last March, I knew I wanted to write the sequels to both series while the editors still knew my name.   Return of the Fae was my summer project. Although I wasn’t contracted for either of the two sequels, I set deadlines for myself.  And both books were completed and sold.

I want to write a book.

Good goal, but how will you know when you’re done?  And how are you going to start? Let’s try again.

I want to write a category length book by the end of the summer.

Okay, better but still that’s kind of vague, let’s tighten it up a tad.

I will have a completed first draft of a 55,000 word book by the end of September.

Much better.  This one is specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-based – or SMART.

Now that we have our goal, we can look at our calendar and figure out how much time we have to write. Starting today there are 21 days left in July – 31 in August – 30 in September. (You can subtract days here if you’re going on vacation or can’t write on Sunday’s but for now, I’m leaving them all in.)  So 82 days until I am done.

55,000 words (the average size of a category romance) divided by 82 days equals 671 words a day. Or 4697 words a week.

Totally doable.  Or, if that’s not reachable for you, you’ll have to kick out that deadline.

I like planning by the week because if I know I won’t have time to write on a Monday (day job deadlines, soccer practice, guitar lessons) then I just have to double up my words on another day (usually Saturday) and I can still meet my goal.

I know what you’re thinking – Sounds good, but it will never work for me.  And if you are thinking that, you’re right, it won’t work.  Before I said the magic is in the work. And I believe that. You have to find your own rhythm and how the process works for you.

And if you’re not meeting your weekly word count because you’re too busy?  At least you have something to show for the summer.  Half a book is better than an idea floating around in your head.  If you don’t meet your goal, adjust it.

Final word on the subject?  Write. Write hard. Write often.

What’s your favorite goal achieving tip?

return of the fae by author lynn cahoonReturn of the Fae

A witch in training, a hunter on the prowl, and a world in jeopardy.

Learning the rules of being a witch takes years, but Parris McCall needs to master them in only weeks. Ty Wallace is going mad with his desire for Parris, but she’s a distraction in his quest to find Coven X before they take The Council and everyone he knows down.

The couple searches for Ty’s mentor, but he’s disappeared. Their only clue comes from a banished witch. When they return, not only are their own lives threatened, but a new life hangs in the balance.

Available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Return-of-the-Fae-ebook/dp/B00DJVH8V6

lynn cahoon authorBIO – Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.

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WARNING- Cliffhangers ahead!

Moonday Mania

a blog for readers and writers of all shapes and styles

Should your books come with a warning label? Should the publisher or author post it right on the front cover that you are heading for dangerous waters and need a puffy orange life jacket to navigate the rapids ahead? I think so. Definitely in the case of New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning‘s urban fantasy Fever series.

I started off the series innocently enough. I’ve been putting off reading them as I am writing a fae fantasy romance series, Tales of the Black Court, and I haven’t wanted to mix up my world building. But my fae romance world is holding steady, I have The Dark Huntsman finished and Prince By Blood and Bone in a complete rough draft, so I decided to treat myself. Thank romance that I waited until her entire series was finished because even though I loved every page there are some major cliffhangers!

dark fever by karen marie moningBook one, Dark Fever, was complete in itself. I enjoyed it. Dark and with some nice twists on the fae that I appreciated it made me anxious to read the next book, but I didn’t feel like I was left suspended. Not so with book two, Blood Fever. Blood Fever left me hanging by my fingers, heading for a drop. But, once again, I could handle it. Luckily I had book three, Fae Fever ready to go, so I didn’t feel too cheated.

But then I read Fae Fever and was left not just heading towards the rapids, but swimming without a life vest in the dark waters with the sound of the rapids dead ahead.

Major cliffhanger!

I’m lucky. This series is complete and I’m able to read the books one after another, but I can imagine how upset readers were with having to wait for the next book, and the next one, because I am assured that Dream Fever also has an ending that makes you want to turn the page… but there is no page to turn.

I asked this question on an author’s loop that I am a member of: do you leave cliff hangers at the end of a book that is part of a series? Does this upset your readers?

The answer yes- readers get upset. Don’t to it. Unless…

Unless you have the next book ready to go and can get it to your readers hot, anxious, sweaty hands in record time. And don’t do it in romance. I have to agree. If your book is a romance, like my books, the relationship should not end on a cliffhanger. Once you do that you are out of the romance category and into something else. Urban fantasy, mystery series, maybe even serial women’s fiction…if there is such a thing. HEAs (Happily Ever Afters) are essential for romance. Or at least HFNs (Happy For Now).

But what about series threads? Can you have a cliffhanger in a romance series thread?

The consensus was not a cliffhanger, per se, but definitely leave some dangling threads.

In the Tales from the Black Court, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve kept some suspense throughout the series, but no romance cliffhangers.  All my couples get there HEA or at least an HFN. What about you?

shadow fever by karen marie moningDo you love cliffhangers? Karen Marie Moning has made it work for her. Her Fever series is very popular and fans raced out to buy Shadow Fever and find out what happens in the end of the series. And I have to admit, I loved her writing. I can’t wait to find out what happens and it woldn’t deter me from reading more of her books. But I might delay. Just in case.

Would you keep reading a series that left you scrabbling by your fingertips? Or would you get mad and give up? Have you ever been stuck waiting a year for a book that left you hanging?

Want information about the release of my new books?  Subscribe to my new release only mailing list where I promise to only send information on new releases and special sales- and not to clog your inbox.

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Discovering Self Publishing

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers of all shapes and sizes

Back in late 2009 I finished my first full length novel, The Dark Huntsman (originally titled The Queen’s Huntsman). But I had no clue what to do with it. My chapter members urged me to submit it for publishing, so I pulled on the big girl boots and sent it off to a few agents and editors. Over the course of 2010 I began to receive my very first (very nice) rejections. So sad.

With This Ring

Submitting your baby to agents and editors is like proposing to someone and having them respond, “I’ll be back to you in six to eight weeks.” So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. And they never get back to you. Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting hooked up. Spring is coming, weddings are being planned, and you sit home every Friday night with only the TV and Ben and Jerry’s for company. Finally you screw your courage to the sticking place and write a follow up letter, asking (okay, trying not to grovel, but also trying not to offend because you are secretly pissed off) asking the guy (editor) if he has even looked at your proposal (manuscript). Only to find out he hasn’t even looked at your letter yet. Or worse, he doesn’t even respond.

I went through it all.

Three re-writes later, three years later, and after lots of maybes… I finally received the acceptance letter! Woot!

But…

I didn’t like the contract. Not one bit. Which was a real shame because I truly wanted to work with that editor. But oh well, that is the way this business goes.

So now I was faced with a decision. It was now 2013 and time was flying by. Fairy tales are HOT! But they won’t stay hot forever, so I want to get this book out now. Do I go through another round of submissions? Do I wait months for someone to reject my work, or even accept my work, but then hand me an unacceptable contract? Is there a valid reason for doing that with this book?

I don’t think so.

I’ve taken an amazing class on self publishing from Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger at Author EMS and once again I’m pulling on the big girl boots, but this time I’m putting on my coat and hat and am venturing out on my own. I’ve hired an editor. I’ll be hiring a copy editor for the nitty gritty work as well as a cover artist (because if it’s up to me it would be a very ugly cover!) and the book will be out this fall!

Check back for updates on the saga. So far book one  Tales of the Black Court: The Dark Huntsman, , is due back from developmental edits June 1st. I’ll work on those, consider a second round, then send it off for copy edits. Meanwhile the cover is next on my agenda, as is finishing book two, Prince by Blood and Bone, and outlining book three, Broken Mirror.

I’m on my way!

Have you ever considered self publishing? Why? What would be the catalyst for breaking free of the traditional expectations of our industry for you? Or have you already taken the plunge? What made you do it? Was it the uniqueness of your book? Was it timeing? Was it simply getting tired of rejections while other people continued to tell you how great your book really was?

I’ll be updating my journey here, so check back!

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Filed under Fae, Moonday mania, self publishing, witches, Writer's Journey

What’s Your Number? with Paranormal Author Sharon Clare

Thursdays Bite

Please welcome guest author, Sharon Clare to Jessica Aspen Writes. Sharon is a fellow Margie Lawson enthusiast who I met through Sherry Isaac (my fellow WOO-HOO-U grad from Margie’s deep immersion class).  Sharon’s last post on Jessica Aspen Writes was a hysterical dive into our cultures struggle with women’s sexuality: Have Two Paroxysms and Call Me in the Morning. I loved Sharon’s first book, paranormal romance Love of Her Lives, where she introduced her mischievous elf, Finn. Read HERE for my review of Love of Her Lives on Goodreads and add it to your TBR pile. Now Sharon has come out with another fun Finn adventure where the elf once again meddles in the lives of two lonely people in dire need of some romance. Introducing, Sharon Clare and her new book Rhapsody.

Delve Inside Personality With Numerology

A few years ago, I spent a week in Beijing with three friends. With our own personal tour guide, we learned about China’s ancient history, the forbidden city and the great wall, it’s emperors and empresses, tombs and drums, pearls and silks, hot pots and rickshaws and a thread that wove through most everything—numerology.

The Chinese aren’t the only culture that believes in the mystical significance of numbers. Pythagoras, the father of mathematics, saw numbers as archetypes rather than just numerals.

I learned calculus from a brilliant mathematician who after explaining a mathematical theory exclaimed, “there’s proof of God’s existence right there.” He saw numbers in ways I’ll never comprehend, yet with a wide open mind, I’m drawn to both concrete and metaphysical concepts. I like learning about most anything, and I like wondering what-if. It makes for great story fodder.

So what if numbers gave us insights into our life purpose?

NumerologyIn a nutshell, http://www.numerology.com/ defines numerology as this: ‘Numerology is the universal language of numbers, and each of us was born with a set of numbers unique to us. These numbers unlock the door to the depths of our personality and reveal the way we interact with others, lessons we’ve yet to learn, opportunities we’ll be given and challenges we’ll face at specific periods of our lives—or throughout life as a whole.’

I believe we create our own realities. However we focus our thoughts (mindfully or habitually) will become real for us. Perhaps numerology does just that—triggers and focuses a thought. We see the number 8 and think prosperity. And then, voila, we find $20 in our pocket. Okay, maybe not. Perhaps it can work more as a prompt to remind us to invest that $20 wisely.

Or is there more to it?

Apparently, your birth name affects your numerology. I plugged my name into this site: http://www.paulsadowski.com/Numbers.asp. The results were remarkably accurate. My number is 3, described in part with this: ‘produces a quest for destiny with words along a variety of lines that may include writing’. Yep, that’s me. My soul number is 7 which means: ‘you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. You like to dream and develop your idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom.’ Wow, again, accurate.

I’m a fiction writer, so I couldn’t resist seeing this as a tool to help develop my characters. I plugged in the name of the heroine from my latest release, Rhapsody, to see how close my representation of her matches her numerology. Isabelle Carson. Hmm, as I read, I see potential, possibilities I could have developed to strengthen her character.

I set Isabelle up as a woman with outer strength, but who inwardly feels she’s never taken seriously by men who can’t see past her sex kitten body. This belief pushes all her buttons when she’s caught in an Elven game of seduction she must play to win her freedom.

I’m always looking for ways to get deeper inside my characters’ heads, and I think I’ve found a fun one with this numerology site. Check it out. Is your numerology accurate?

A little about Rhapsody, published by Crimson Romance:

Rhapsody Book CoverIsabelle plans to escape the real world when she takes a tropical vacation. But escape becomes too real when Paradise Resort disappears. To win her freedom, she must break an oath and out-play her opponent in a game of seduction. Her self-control is resolute until her traitorous body decides this is a game she wants to play.

Jonathan’s needs are simple: break down Isabelle’s resistance, win the game, and get back to the real world where an emergency waits. Desire grows between them as each roll of the die reveals secrets, truths and skin, until Jonathan is forced to confront his worst fear or forfeit Isabelle to the dark mastermind of the game.

Rhapsody buy links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, itunes

Author Bio:

Sharon Clare lives in Ontario with her husband and three wonderful grown-up kids who come and go from the nest. She fell in love with writing at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a science degree in psychology and professional writing. She writes light paranormal romance and has published short stories, art reviews, newsletter and magazine articles. Her favourite place to write is outside under the maple trees beside the lily pond. Find out more at: www.sharonclare.com

Check out Rhapsody’s trailer HERE.

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Filed under Fae, guest post, paranormal inspiration

Three Hot Paranormal Romance Authors and Three Hot Trailers

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog for romance lovers

With the success of the release of my book trailer for Snow and the Seventh Wolf (click HERE if you missed it) I thought I’d share some book trailers from my paranormal romance author friends.

Number one is a book trailer that I was first introduced to a year ago by Love of Her Lives author Sharon Clare. I love the way Sharon used second life to create her book trailer. Not only is it something that I had never seen done before, it also made it easy for her to incorporate her supernatural character, Finn, a trouble causing elf.

Love of Her Lives is now available in paperback and her novella, Rhapsody, was just released in December, 2012. Sharon wrote one of the best posts I’ve had on my blog about women and their search for, um… “personal pleasure”. Check it out HERE. And to read my review of Love of Her Lives on Goodreads, click HERE. Sharon will be my guest on March 7th, so check back for some more Sharon Clare.

If you liked Snow and the Seventh Wolf’s trailer, it was created by Lex Valentine of Winterheart Designs. Lex also has created a trailer for a friend of mine, and fellow Passion in Print author, Lizzie T. Leaf. Lizzie’s book Beyond Magic, the first in her Magical Love series has Lizzie’s trademark sense of humor as well as being a fantastic paranormal love story.

You can find the second book in the Magical Love series, Emerging Magic, HERE. Like Sharon’s books Lizzie’s Magical Love series has a supernatural taking a hand in the romance, but Lizzie’s Cailleach is a little more reluctant than Sharon’s Finn.

Last, but of course not least, is romance author and fellow WRITING GAIM member, Isis Rushdan. Her brand new romance from Samhain, Kindred of the Fallen has one of the most amazing covers I’ve seen in a long time and there is no doubt a paranormal love story to match. Brinda Berry helped Isis put together this book trailer and I think they did a phenomenal job.

I have to include the warning that comes with the book: Warning: Contains a headstrong, soul-reading tattoo artist, a sexy alpha hero who knows how to get what he wants, adrenaline-packed action, and explosive sex that literally shatters bulletproof glass. 

Whew! Definitely ready to open those pages!

Do you love book trailers? Have you read any of these authors? If you’ve missed out on any of my book trailer posts then click HERE and HERE and HERE  for some additional trailers.

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Filed under Book Trailers, Fae, Thursdays Bite